The temperature of the house sparks more arguments between couples during winter than any other subject, a new study has shown. The research revealed more than four in ten couples constantly bicker over the temperature of their home, with women complaining it’s too cold while men moan about the cost of fuel bills.
In the living room, where the majority of arguments start, over half of adults will row with their significant other over when to put the heating on for the first time.
Whether to put the heating on, how long for and how much it will cost will be the cause of three rows a week for the typical couple.
And the arguments generally start in late October – with the woman of the house insisting the heating goes on as early as possible.
Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at Anglian Home Improvements, which commissioned the study, said:
”The survey found that temperature is a touchy subject, with 60% of British couples arguing over the heating.
”We’ve experienced some harsh British winters in recent years and it might be a case of once bitten twice shy for many.
”So it’s important to make our homes as energy efficient as possible, helping to keep our families warm and cosy and our bills down.
”Late October is usually when the cold weather really starts to set in and seems to be the time the disagreements start.
”And with energy prices rising yet again, now is an ideal time to invest in improving the energy efficiency of the home, making it a happier place all round.”
It’s not just the heating that causes a rumpus – other topics likely to cause a ‘set to’ include nagging, spending too much money and not helping out with household chores.
DIY, home décor and cooking dinner were also listed as triggers for a barney among cohabiting couples.
The survey also revealed that half of men said they want to be able to walk around the house in just a t-shirt without being cold.
While over three quarters of women insist the house needs to be warm enough to get out of the shower or bath without feeling cold.
The study revealed the average temperature in UK homes is 20 degrees Celsius.
But worryingly two in five couples admitted that they struggle to afford their heating bills during winter.
During the average week day, homes will have their heating on for five hours a day, increasing to six hours at the weekends.
If they can get away with it, women prefer to squeeze an extra hour in during the weekend and have the heating on for seven hours.
Men are more cautious over what they spend on heating than their partner, according to the survey results.
Some may not be surprised to hear that almost half of women tend to feel the cold easily, with a quarter suffering from chilly hands and feet while one in ten said they were susceptible to draughts.
In contrast, 38% of men say they are generally at a comfortable temperature while three in ten even tend to get hot easily.
82% of couples like to try to keep their heating off for as long as possible, but cold snaps can make this hard to do.
In total, three in five couples will argue about heating and temperature to some extent this winter.
Melanie McDonald added:
”These results highlight that women are feeling the cold and men are worried about energy costs.
”This ties in with the feedback we get from our customers about their motivation for making energy saving home improvements, as we find that women often focus on comfort and being warm while men are more concerned about the energy bills.
”That said, industry figures suggest that up to 30% of the heat in our homes is leaking out through inefficient windows and doors, so perhaps there’s a simple solution there that will help to keep everyone happy.”